Peaceful Evening in Wanaka

Communities and New Badges

Want to join the community and share your photos? Here’s some links for you! :) Google+ turned 2 years old, and they announced a new Badge Maker that you can use for your website. I thought I’d use the new badges below to re-invite you to a few of the communities we started there! These are good places for you to share your work, if you so desire. Also, as always, I am happy for you to share your work here in the comments on the blog too! :)




Daily Photo – Peaceful Evening in Wanaka

I had a peaceful evening in Wanaka.

There is this tree that sits out in the middle of the lake. It’s so unusual. I love the way it reflects back on itself in the smooth water. I was by myself, listening to music on my iPod, and just watching the water as it would calm down then get excited, then calm down again. I swapped out lenses a few times and kept moving around to admire it from different angles. This one was one of my favorites.

Peaceful Evening in Wanaka

Peaceful Evening in Wanaka

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJune 27, 2013 at 1:21am
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/50
  • Aperture13
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length55.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1

Not Impressed by Adobe Creative Cloud’s Launch Features for Photographers

Is this how they usher in the Cloud era?

Today Adobe announced Photoshop CC that is only available to cloud subscribers.

Adobe should not release such lame updates to Photoshop and Lightroom to convince people that the cloud-subscription software is exciting. They should make dramatic improvements – things that photograpehrs can’t live without. Can we live without “Smart Sharpen” and “Intelligent Upsampling” with Photoshop. Err, probably. The Lightroom improvements are equally underwhelming. You know that the updates are lame when one of the top bullet points is “Include video in your slideshows!” How did THAT become one of the top-most-requested features?

Photoshop Creative Cloud

Here's a list of some of the features with Photoshop CC. I am not thrilled. Also, that seems like kind of a lame photo they are using to show off their product, isn't it? Maybe Photoshop has gotten to the point where it is just kind of like a pencil or a paintbrush -- they can't be improved upon. Maybe Adobe really has run out of ideas (except for ideas around new business models where you get to pay them every month).

It also worries me that Adobe is running out of ideas for their photography-related products. Their “big features” are, at best, incremental improvements. They are certainly not exciting enough to drive millions to subscribe to their cloud subscriptions. Their biggest idea, sadly, seems to be cloud-based subscriptions.

Business-model confusion with Adobe

Adobe’s PR and marketing team has a whole list of reasons about why Cloud-based subscription is so awesome for Photoshop. They have a few good points in there, such as it is easy to do incremental updates. But mostly, the reasons are lame and not exciting to amateurs and hobbyists who can’t afford to shell out a ton of money every month.

Here is the confusion: If Cloud-based subscriptions really are so awesome for Photoshop, why do they have a completely different business model for Lightroom? They tell me, well, Lightroom is more for hobbyists and casual people, and Photoshop is more for professionals. I think that sounds kind of ridiculous, don’t you?

What is especially confusing for me is, “How do I explain this to people?” I get a bunch of people that come to this website or to the HDR Tutorial (new and improved, and free as always, btw!) to get advice on what kind of software to get. We get a lot of new photographers who don’t really own any software. Now I have to give confusing advice: “Well, you really need Photoshop and Lightroom. Photoshop you have to pay every month for, but Lightroom you can just buy once.” People are like, “Whhhhaaat?” Why have two business models for such complementary pieces of software? It’s completely confusing to new people, and moderately confusing to veterans.

Anyway, these are the kind of confusing decisions that come out of committees. I hope they clarify things soon, and I also hope they have a business model that is less punitive to beginners, students, and hobbyists that can’t afford the high price of cloud-based subscriptions. It’s not like Netflix or World of Warcraft with their monthly fees. You pretty much have one kind of customer there. With photography, you have the full span of professionals and studios to ameteurs and hobbyists. In my judgment, it’s too punitive to have One-Pricing-Model to rule them all.

Daily Photo – Sunset in New Zealand before the Blizzard

We are expecting a major blizzard coming into Queenstown tonight! We just got back from the grocery store to stock up. I’ve got all my cameras fully charged and ready to go… I’ll try to hit as many places as I can with the fresh snow… chains are ready and all is good to go! Super-excited.

And, speaking of the article above, I can’t think of any of my images that could have been improved if I am using the new features in Adobe’s cloud. Sure, I subscribed to their cloud (Adobe did not gift me one, nor will they probably ever because I am so critical of them), and I am using the latest of everything… but none of these new features have really found their way into my photos yet. Comon Adobe… I know you can do better.

Queenstown Pond Sunset New Zealand

Sunset in New Zealand before the Blizzard

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/5.6
  • ISO280
  • Focal Length28mm (28mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

Central Park with Clayton Morris from Fox News

Part 1 and 2 of the Fox Interview

Some of you may have seen this, but I am re-sharing, along with a newly published photo that I took on that day with Clayton! After this, Clayton and I got to be friends and he ended up coming to New Zealand… and he may be coming back again soon, I hope! :)

Daily Photo – Under the Bridge in Central Park

And here is one of the final images from the second video above…

Under the Bridge in Central Park

Under the Bridge in Central Park

Photo Information

  • Date TakenAugust 17, 2012 at 11:36am
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture8
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Bryant Park in New York City

Five New eBooks to Enjoy!

Wow! The authors are really putting out amazing stuff over at Flatbooks.com ! I think you’ll be impressed at all the new work over there and you’ll learn a great many things. Here is a selection of some of the newer books that have recently launched! :)

Boneyardby Troy Paiva contains over 60 full sized and zoomable light painted night images, shot in two separate aircraft graveyards, “The Secret Boneyard” and “Aviation Warehouse.” 50 of these images have never been shown before. These are not outtakes or stiffs the author never bothered to do anything with. Half is a body of work from 2008 that has only now been allowed to be displayed publicly by the property owner. The others are a fresh set of A-list images shot in the summer of 2012.

 

 


Travel Photography Exposed by Mike Marlowe is a collection of thoughts, examples and practical tips on life as a roaming travel photographer. This is not an academic theory book; this is a collection of no-nonsense advice from a photographer that does this every day. More importantly, it’s about helping you to do the same. Whether it’s a one-off two-week trip or you want to live your life on the road, this ebook will help you get on the right path.

 

 

Seeing the Unseen – How to Photograph Landscapes at Night by Alister Benn is a complete guide to night photography. This book doesn’t just provide the photographer with a quick set of rule-of-thumb generalizations that make sweeping assumptions and teach you nothing; instead the author shows you how to assess the light that is available and make meaningful and breath-taking images as well as any professional.

This book is suitable for all levels of experience – leading the beginner through the fundamentals, but stretching the boundaries of very experienced night photographers with contemporary advanced techniques.

 

 

A first for Flatbooks – an in-depth video-only tutorial! From Scott Detweiler, author of Conceptual Portraiture comes an hour-long video called Creation of Succubuson creating his portrait titled The Succubus. Using Photoshop CS6 and Lightroom 4 we will step thought the complete workflow that was used to create this image from scratch.

 

 

At 3,310 meters, Cusco ranks within a thousand feet of the highest and most inhospitable cities on the planet – yet everyone from the millennia-old Killke culture to modern adventurers the world over has somehow made their way to this mountain Mecca. This book, The Travel Companion: From Cusco to Machu Picchuby Brian Hoffsis will take you on a journey through Peru from Cusco to Machu Picchu, with 48 photos and individual stories.

 

Daily Photo – Bryant Park in New York City

This is where I ended my walk with Luke that night in New York City. It was sort of a lazy, meandering walk… going here and going there. But my hotel was right by this park. I lament that I never got a shot inside the awesome library, but the tripod police were out in full force. I actually felt like I was in more danger there than in the middle of this New York City park in the middle of the night!

Bryant Park in New York City

Bryant Park in New York City

Photo Information

  • Date TakenAugust 16, 2012 at 9:43pm
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

New York City Bus

Another Favorite Photo from New York City

Here’s one of High Line Park that you might enjoy if you’ve never seen it! :)
HDR Photo

Daily Photo – New York City Bus

Here’s one of the first places I stopped during the New York City photowalk. Since I’m not from NYC, I really get excited about all these thing New Yorkers find quite banal. But I saw that big glass surface and all the reflections, so I got in close with the 14-24mm. I had to be fast… these busses don’t wait too long. I was never tempted to actually get in FRONT of the bus, however. I may not be from NYC, but I don’t have a deathwish while taking photos there! :)

New York City Bus

New York City Bus

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length14mm (14mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

Bryant Park in New York City

New eBook from Karen Hutton

You all surely know Karen by now, yes? If not, here’s a way to get to know her through her work. And yes, for those of you joining us for our New Zealand Photo Adventure, she’ll be along with us as one of the instructors – fun!

Grab the new eBook here!

* 104 gorgeously laid out pages, with 100 photographs and the mindflash stories that go with them.
* Kick back, relax and sink into a world of stunningly beautiful photography. Think “favorite picture book”, as you curl up by a cozy fire with a steaming mug of your favorite and most delicious beverage. Aaahhh.
* Experience the kind of escape normally reserved for vacation – at your fingertips in your everyday world.
* Take a moment to dream – to visit other worlds than your own – and imagine what YOUR best story could be.

From Karen:

“I wanted to create a book that evoked that childlike desire to soak in pretty pictures and a good story. In this case, about 100 stories. All very short. All designed to take you on a flight of fancy. Perhaps the sole outcome will be a simple joy. A few quiet moments to enjoy breathtaking places and soulful moments. Have your thoughts provoked a bit. Or perhaps as you are having fun with photo immersion, you’ll think of your own tall tales. Stories that lead you to see the world a little differently. Notice light in a new way. Awaken desires for more color in your life, more textures, deeper experiences. Let your heart speak. Perhaps for the first time.

“I/We” is an invitation to see, to experience, to imagine, to play.
A collection of some of my favorite photos and the sometimes soulful, often silly narrative that emerged in the course of their creation. All assembled and wrapped up in a beautifully designed package for you to enjoy in whatever way you wish.

My wish is that it makes you laugh, think, relax… and dream.”

Daily Photo – Bryant Park in New York City

I stayed in a cool hotel right next to this park. I’ve forgotten the name, but I found it with Hotel Tonight, which is a really cool iPad app you should get. Even better, the app has a lot of my photography in it… so it is even further recommended!

This park is very pretty and relaxing. It’s even busy deep into the night… and, it seems perfectly safe, which is always extra-charming to those of us that are not from New York. Going to a park at night in NYC is supposed to be a very scary thing!

Bryant Park in New York City

Bryant Park in New York City

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length14mm (14mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

Crossing the Street in New York City

That Look

Okay, so I’m not a cute girl, but I think I have something strangely in common with them.

As a dude, there are a myriad of things that go on inside the heads of females that will always remain a wonderful mystery. One if them is the inability to empathize with how a girl feels when a guy stares at them for too long. You know what I mean, right? I mean, I’m guilty of it too, of course. When a guy sees a cute girl, he looks for a little too long. It’s necessarily lecherous, but, you know, we just kinda look a bit too long. It’s hardwired into us.

Anyway, now that I’ve explained that, I can explain this other thing. So, I’m not REALLY famous… just kinda internet-famous and recognizable to a certain segment of the population. So, when I go out in public, I have the same situation as above. It’s not exactly the same, because people don’t look at me for cuteness-reasons… but mostly what happens is this. People stare at me because they “think” they recognize me, or maybe know me from somewhere. And they keep staring until they can work out who I am. Or maybe they do know who I am, but they just kinda look at me, wondering if they should come over to say hello.

And these are the kind of looks that last a little too long. It’s not really uncomfortable… that’s the wrong word… but there is some invisible wall of time that the stare crosses into, and you stay completely aware of it in your peripheral vision. Even when I’m not looking in that direction, my third eye still tells me they are watching me now and working things out. So, I don’t know why I just wrote so much about this phenomenon… it’s just interesting to me I suppose.

Daily Photo – Crossing the Street in New York City

This photo was taken very nearby the Grand Central Station photo I posted a few days ago. In fact, I think it’s just one block south!

While I was taking this, a gentleman-fan of the blog was giving me “that look”. After I was done taking the photo, I beckoned him over to say hello! He was very nice and we had a nice little talk. So, if you ever find yourself in this situation, just come over and say hello – I’m happy for it! :)

Crossing the Street in New York City

Crossing the Street in New York City

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length14mm (14mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

The Movie Set of New York City

Paris Shot How To

I’ll be in Paris in just a few weeks for the workshop at the chateau (see the Photography Workshop Schedule)! Here is a video that I made during my last trip to Paris that you might enjoy if you have not already seen it…

Tanya Rochat’s Digital Castles

Tanya Rochat’s new eBook, Digital Castles, is insanely cool. Even if you think “I can’t do that!” I invite you to get into the book anyway. No doubt you will discover many new tricks in post-processing that you can re-use in your own craft.From the description:

A matte painting is a painted representation of a landscape, set, or distant location that allows filmmakers to create the illusion of an environment that would otherwise be too expensive or impossible to build or visit. Historically, matte painters and film technicians have used various techniques to combine a matte-painted image with live-action footage. At its best, depending on the skill levels of the artists and technicians, the effect is “seamless” and creates environments that would otherwise be impossible to film.

Daily Photo – The Movie Set of New York City

I shot this from the Google offices in Manhattan a few weeks ago. Luke and I ended up staying up late at the offices, and we wanted to wait until the sunset rolled through… and when sunset finally came, we discovered that we could not even go outside! All the windows and doors had been nailed shut by security, so there was no chance of getting out. Instead, I had to commandeer a conference room and turn out all the lights so I could get a clean shot out the window.

Over on the left side, you can just see the edge of the Brooklyn Bridge.

New York City Downtown

The Movie Set of New York City

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length85mm (85mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

Park and East 42nd in New York City

One Billion Means

My friend Pedram Keyani convinced me to share this… FB contacted me for a little interview before they announced they had one-billion users. I guess they plucked out this quote and used as part of their announcement. Here is my Facebook Page in case you are not already a friend or subscriber! (sorry I maxed out around 5K friends a while ago… they seem to start to throttle at 4,500 or so).

HDR Photo

Daily Photo – Park and East 42nd in New York City

The evening after the big NYC photowalk, I decided to go off on my own and do a bit of shooting. Well, I wasn’t totally on my own. Luke (from here at SIC) was there with me. He was taking mobile-phone photos of me while I was shooting away… a lot of them made their way to the aforementioned Facebook, so I’m sure you can root around in there and see some! :)

Park and East 42nd in New York City

Park and East 42nd in New York City

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/5.6
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length14mm (14mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

The Stars Above Grand Central Station

Your Worst Tripod Story?

I have a few… the one below is not one of the better ones, btw.. but what are yours?

Daily Photo – The Stars Above Grand Central Station

I took this photo a few moments before getting kicked out for using a tripod. They said I could go sign up for a permit, but I told them I could not be bothered. I wasn’t mean about it, just sort of matter-of-fact. I asked if women with strollers needed to get a permit or men with canes, and they said of course not.

I would like to make a tripod that attached to a baby stroller. In fact, instead of the baby, I could put all my camera gear down there. So it could be a rolling camera-bag-stroller with tripod attachment. It would look crazy, but it would be kind of awesome too.

Grand Central Station New York City

The Stars Above Grand Central Station

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/5.6
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length14mm (14mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

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